Euphoria

(no subject)

Study study study.

What really sucks this year is my first draft of my comment is due December 30, so I don't really get a break after finals. Unfair. Oh well, that's life.
Euphoria

(no subject)

Life update:

EPA and classes are going well. I super tired this week although that is partially because Matt is in Scotland.

I'm going to say this the nicest way possible - but is it okay to be jealous of your fiance? He gets paid to go to *Scotland.*

I have an interview on Tuesday with an organization that is doing its best to save the planet - so I really hope I get that internship so I too can help save the planet. I won't get paid anything, but that's sort of how it goes. I could make a lot of money helping destroy the planet, but that's not really me.

Wedding planning is going fine. We have the church, the minister, the music, and the reception basics set up. I have not yet gone dress shopping. I'm only having one bridesmaid, my big sister (I might have my little sister too), so that should be fun. She does actually want me to have a bachelorette party; she wants us to go to Disneyworld. My sister loves Disney and if I can find the money for that, I think that'd be okay. Of course anyone in Florida is invited - my general attitude to the wedding is - I love it if you can come, I totally am fine if you can't make it. I understand how busy and broke most of my friends are.
Euphoria

(no subject)

So - Experienced my first earthquake. It was pretty weird. No damage, just some stuff knocked off shelves. I was struck by how random it was. Most natural disasters I know about you get lots of warning, so it was a little weird to suddenly be convinced someone was trying to demolish my building.
Euphoria

On Imposing Gender and Cats

So it turns out Butterscotch, who we've been calling "she" for two years is actually a "he." Which has led to a debate in my family on whether we should refer to Butterscotch as "she" or "he."

Personally, I think we should still keep calling Butterscotch whatever we originally called her. When we anthropomorphized the cat, it was female to us, so we imposed female traits on it in our minds. In reality, cats have different gender traits than people do. A cat that's been fixed, like Butterscotch (who is a neutered male) has its own set of gender traits, but they aren't ones that we notice. Lucy is definitely a fixed female dog, but like dogs do, she exhibits some behaviors that are supposed to be male for dogs. I don't see the reason for a paradigm shift, especially if that might change our perception of the cat.

Let's compare an animal that is actually female. Abby, my sister's dog, is a spayed female. While we call her she, I don't know if she actually exhibits any dog traits that make her female. Yet, if I take her to get groomed, it's more "Who's a pretty girl?" If Abby was a neutered male, would the dog need grooming any more or less and be any less "pretty" afterward?

English is a far less gendered language than others, and there are some very interesting studies on how imposing gender on objects affects our perception of them. Take forks, for instance. In English, we don't gender objects, and so people probably would describe a fork as "masculine" or "feminine" based on the attributes of the object. In French, a fork is "la fourchette" but in Spanish is "el tenedor" and in German is the masculine "die gabel." Studies have found that whether you learn a language that genders the fork either masculine or feminine has an effect on the attributes people immediately ascribe to it (I can't find this study.)

We do gender some of our nouns. Ships are "she." The moon is "she." Which can affect our stories (or vice versa) and what we do, even in language.

So while my cat may have a biological sex, the gender I give to the cat is colored by my own perceptions. My cat's gender is actually something very different for a cat, and very different for a fixed cat. However, because I've already imposed a gender on my cat in one way, I think linguistically it would be hard to shift it to a new gender.

But who cares? It's a cat.
Euphoria

(no subject)

I got a fall internship with the EPA!

I had to turn down a summer job with the USPTO, so it feels good to do this. Now I can get all my environmental law stuff out of my system before becoming a corporate lawyer.
Euphoria

(no subject)

So I'd thought I'd write this out to express it.

My initial reaction to Bin Laden's death seemed to well from the same deep psychological place as my initial reaction to 9/11. I remember being 13, and without really comprehending the full magnitude of the situation, beginning to cry as I described the falling building to my choir class. In the same vein, I knew I shouldn't be happy about anybody's death, but I ended up laughing when I heard that Bin Laden had died. Someone who was responsible for much of how my teenage years felt is gone, but we're never going to get back to how we were before. Still, it at least feels like the end of an era.

I have to say, I am extremely impressed with President Obama. This took nearly two years of careful planning, and there was no hint that it was in the works.
Euphoria

(no subject)

Finals finals finals.

So... yeah! Strict scrutiny! Premeditation and Deliberation! Equitable servitudes! Standing! Notice and Comment Process! Oh dear, here goes my brain.
Euphoria

(no subject)

Man, is it engagement season or something? That's the fourth of my friends from highschool/college/law school to get engaged in the past month.